Service Spotlight: Glass Bead Blasting


When looking for a uniform, clean, bright satin metal finish without changing the dimensions of the part, glass bead blasting is a great choice. EFCO Finishing Corporation has a couple different options to achieve this finish, using glass bead media in its blast room and the several blast cabinets on site at our facility in Butler.

Glass beads are made from lead-free, soda lime-type glass, containing no silica, that is made into preformed ball shapes using epoxy resin. These beads are known for producing a much brighter and smoother finish than angular formed abrasives. Another advantage is that glass beads can be recycled or reused multiple times.  When used properly, in a controlled setting, glass beads provide an environmentally friendly metal cleaning or surface finishing option.

The environment, and the preservation of it, are huge concerns these days, especially here at EFCO.  Since glass beads do not contain silica, the risk of silicosis, a disease of the lungs, is eliminated.  Also, there are no real disposal concerns or special considerations that need to be made when getting rid of glass beads, and it is also easily collected by our dust collection equipment, which stops it from entering the air we breathe

Glass blasting is used primarily for finishing, removing light burrs, blending, peening, and removing foreign matter, such as rust or corrosion. It is also ideal for delicate parts, with thin walls and thin welds, as it’s capable of achieving the desired result without causing damage. As opposed to steel grit or shot blasting, which is very aggressive, when glass bead blasting, parts are typically handled individually, which avoids part-on-part contact or impingement.  It works equally well on many different alloys, including steel, aluminum, stainless steel, brass, and occasionally, even plastic and acrylic.  Several different mesh sizes of glass beads are used by EFCO, ranging from coarse to very fine. Sampling the product is often the best way to determine the media, and free samples are always available.

We serve many different customers and industries with this service.  Examples include lighting, recreational vehicles, automotive, light industrial, motorcycle, food and beverage, electrical, medical,  and several others.  Knowing the cleanliness required in both food and beverage, and the medical fields, this gives you a good indication of how pristine and fine the finish truly is.  Samples are always a good way to determine the process, but we can also quote off of prints and drawings.  Give us a call to see if glass bead blasting is an option for you

Glass Blasting: EFCO metal finishing Milwaukee's glass blast room

A glass bead blast machine is a great option for fragile objects requiring metal finishing,

Efco FInishing WI notes that glass bead cleaning is an effective medium for blast cleaning.

Glass beads are a common media for blast cleaning and metal finishing. Efco FInishing WI